I never want to sleep in these hours leading up to the time where I absolutely need to be awake. I laid in my bed, thinking about my memories of Sicklerville, New Jersey, where I lived from as early as I can remember to sometime in first grade, and wanting to listen to The Mountain Goats' We Shall All Be Healed.
Mostly my thoughts are about a girl named Megan who had red hair and was baby-sat by the same woman I was afterschool and during the summer months and who I really liked at the time. My memories are of course vague, but I nonetheless hope she ended up being a good person. I was in kindergarten when she was in first grade. I was fond of her in a way that boys are fond of girls before they know what sex is but know that close relationships between boys and girls are both rare and incredibly important, something to be proud of.
After I moved out of Sicklerville I became close friends with a dude I'm now very different than. But the important thing about the story isn't the difference between our friendship in second grade and our friendship now, it's the period where we weren't that close (because I moved yet again) and when we started talking again to discover both of us liked They Might Be Giants and had similar relationships with our brothers.
When I got to Evergreen, there were these two people who were friends when they were both in preschool and ended up attending the same college and becoming roommates after an extended time apart.
These are the kinds of things I think about when I think about the people I will probably never see again.
I remember leaving Sicklerville around what must've been around Christmastime, standing outside an awning, in the hall by the front door, everyone else in the front room where there was no TV, but there was a couch and I would sit and wait for my mom to arrive when there was something I didn't want to watch on TV. (Also sometimes in that room there would be games of Mouse Trap.) I remember telling that room full of people, my babysitter and that girl Megan that just because I was leaving didn't mean I wouldn't be coming back, because my dad would still be living in Sicklerville. I didn't know he'd end up moving back in with his parents in Collingswood. I didn't know I was lying at the time. But when I think back on that memory, I remember a sickly moment, with not bright-enough lighting and a general unpleasantness.
A few years back my mom and I drove through the old neighborhood, where our house and that belonging to the babysitter still existed, and the whole town of Sicklerville had this horrible vibe to it that we could sense even from inside the car. Both my mom and I picked up on it, and we wondered if the people who lived there currently were able to feel it.